For a Future
By: Koorino Megumi

This is my response to a 1000-word or less drabble challenge from my friend, written for her birthday. Enjoy!

For a while, it had looked like their little village would quickly dwindle until there were none left. They hadn't minded at first, however. After all, if they enjoyed the time that they had before they stopped, then what reason was there to worry about the future?

But then the little one had come back after his journey, and he had brought to the black mages a different perspective than any of the rest of them had ever thought of. Life was to be enjoyed and not wasted, that they already knew, but those in the present should think about the future and what would happen to others when they left them behind. Each life was uniquely valuable.

The black mages knew that they felt something inside each time one of their number stopped, but they had never really thought about what it would be like for the others when they themselves stopped. At first the words of the little black mage confused them, but they knew he was different than they were, and he had done great things, and his words made them think.

And this black mage was dead-set on making sure that there was a way for their number to continue living, even if each of them still stopped in the same short time as before. And the black mage had friends, friends who knew engineers and people who had ways of helping, or could at least try to understand how the Mist had formed them. Cid soon came to the village, meeting each black mage in turn and gathering as much information as possible. The little one thought that chances were slim that the black mages could leave a legacy now that the Mist was gone, but none of the other black mages could tell that he was doubting. His face was always determined when the subject came up, and he just kept working and working toward his goal.

It was the little one himself who made the final discovery, finding a way for the black mages to use the Mist within themselves to bring life to new, smaller bodies. His discovery did not come without a price, however. The black mages could easily create their own little ones with the same lifespan that they themselves enjoyed, but for each little one that they created, it was soon shown that days of their own lives were forfeit. And so the little one, not knowing of this price, and unlikely to care even if he had, set right into the work, creating as much of a legacy as he could and loving each of them as if they were the one and only. And so the days before he stopped, already longer than those of any of the others, were shortened and shortened, and soon the little one was gone.

But the other black mages would not forget the little one. His own little ones littered their village, and they were all small and energetic and curious, and they made the black mages smile, and they also made them think about a future that had never even seemed like a possibility. Some of the black mages did not want to lose their own days to bring little ones to life, but those numbered very few, and soon the Black Mage Village was full of little ones, curiosity, energy, and a bright future. And, for the first time ever, it was also filled with names, for, as the little one had, the black mages gave their little ones names of their own to show that each was unique.

Such it came to be that the Black Mage Village grew like any other village, slowly developing into a society all its own. And from Bobby Corwen and a mate, caught later by a member of the village, came more chocobos, and soon the black mages began to travel, and they became a part of Gaia just like any other race.

Today the village of Vivi is the capitol village in one of the countries of the world. And though the inhabitants all look much alike, and though their number is small, they are said to be the happiest people on the planet. If one is looking for a good celebration, top-quality chocobos, or to meet some of the sweetest people they've ever seen, Vivi is the best place to go. Tourism has begun to take hold, but the inhabitants, not wanting their village to ever be another Treno, refuse to create any attractions or try to take advantage of it for money. And why should they? They simply wish to enjoy the short lives they have as much as possible and leave others who are happy to have known them. And that is what they do.

Knowing the way that history generally runs, it seems likely the village's namesake will one day be forgotten, but the black mages all vow that it will never be so, and knowing them, most people find it hard to believe that they could lie. And so the little one, who long ago stopped, not even so long after the journey that changed everything, has never been forgotten and never ceased to live through the future that he himself helped to create. And thus comes a happy ending for a people who never thought it possible--and all because of one who wanted--and worked--to have more.

No, the village's namesake will never be forgotten, no matter how many stop nor what the future may bring. His legacy is exactly what he dreamed.